As I type this out, it’s been one week since I’ve made the toughest decision of my life (now two weeks as this goes live). The decision was filled with buckets of tears, sleepless nights, and pain like I’ve never felt before.
My wife and I had to make the choice to put our beloved dog, Zane, down. To us, he was the best dog we could have asked for.
He joined our lives just over eight years ago for Valentine’s Day, a gift for Pam.
A mix of German Shepherd and Husky, he had lots of energy and love to go around. He was also one of the smartest dogs I’d ever owned.
Zane was easy to teach dog tricks. It was almost as if he instinctively knew what the commands meant. And he would do them. Whether it was sit, lay down, roll over, or belly rub. There was no training. He just knew.
He also loved people. He loved the vet. He loved our family. He loved strangers. Anyone he could snuffle and kiss, he would.
And then there was the running. Man, how he loved to run. The last year or two he got to do it frequently as he became my running partner.
The look of pure ecstasy on his face when he’d see me in my running clothes. Once he was out of his crate, he’d bounce from couch to love seat to stairs. Excited as his dogself could be to be going on a run.
Then there was the games we’d play as I got home from work. I would go to open up the door, but only a crack. Zane would come up sniffing the air and trying to stick his nose through the crack. He couldn’t wait for me to get home.
Or how I’d have to take him outside on a leash because he would jump our chain-link fence. He helped get me outside before and after work by doing this.
There are so many things I’m missing about you bubba. You were the best dog a guy like me could have asked for.
Last week we had to make the decision to put him down. Zane became sick. We’re not sure what it was but he was in pain and we knew we had to do what was best for him.
So I made the calls, took him in, held him, and let the vet do her work. He went so peacefully, it felt like a relief.
But that doesn’t make the decision any easier. Even if it was the right decision to make.
Remember this as you lead. You will have to make choices. They will be tough decisions. The decisions may hurt.
And yet if you want to be a great leader, you’ve got to make the choice.
Question: What’s the toughest decision you’ve had to make? If you feel comfortable, please share the decision in the comment section below.